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What the papers say: Parliament’s ‘marathon of Brexit whingeing’

1 February 2017

8:26 AM

1 February 2017

8:26 AM

MPs will finally vote tonight on the triggering of Article 50, and for wavering Parliamentarians, the Sun has some advice. It says that yesterday’s debate was a ‘marathon of Brexit whingeing’ which saw MPs recycle ‘reheated Project Fear doom-mongering’. Instead, they should listen to their colleague Tory MP Julian Lewis, whose contribution consisted of just nine words: ‘The people have decided. I’m going to vote accordingly’. ‘That is now all it boils down to,’ the Sun says.

The Daily Telegraph is more optimistic about Parliament’s contribution to the Brexit debate. It says that yesterday’s marathon session, which ended at around midnight, was one of those rare moments where a House of Commons session lived up to its advance billing. The Telegraph says there are also other signs to be hopeful of Parliament’s future, with the referendum result likely to ‘rejuvenate’ the Commons. And there were certainly glimmers of what Parliament does well on display last night, with the paper picking out Keir Starmer for praise. It says the Labour MP’s ‘soberly compelling argument as to why those who favoured Remain must now accept the referendum outcome’ demonstrated that he could be a good choice for Labour leader when the party finally rouses itself from its ‘nightmare’. Ken Clarke also gets a pat on the back, with the paper saying it’s clear, even for those who disagree with him, that he is a man who sticks to his convictions. But ‘for all the eloquence and passion of his argument’, Clarke ‘cut a forlorn figure yesterday’ as his ‘personal sadness’ at the Brexit vote shone through.


The Guardian makes gloomier reading this morning. It says the toxic combination of Brexit and Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House means the worst of both worlds for Britain. It warns Theresa May to learn the lesson of her predecessor, and resist the urge to ‘tack to the right’ in a bid to ‘squeeze the air out of Ukip’. The paper says the PM’s Brexit policy is at the ‘heart of this recklessness’, and goes on to say that her focus on Britain regaining control of borders and migration – which means, the paper argues, ‘sacrificing UK economic confidence’ – is pushing May into a ‘premature embrace’ with Donald Trump. It cautions the PM for what it perceives as a bid to cosy up with the new president. What’s more, the closeness of the pair’s relationship is also likely to kick up a storm among other EU leaders, ‘with the perception in Europe that Mrs May’s Britain is happy to work to undermine and even destroy the EU in alliance with Mr Trump’ not a good sign. Could we end up with a tattered relationship with the EU only to secure a pyrrhic victory in the form of an ‘America First’ trade deal, the Guardian asks.

Don’t listen to the naysayers, says the Daily Mail. It’s true that Donald Trump has said some outrageous things. And it’s also true that many of his pronouncements and policies are misguided. But we must remember that, like it or not, Donald Trump is the democratically elected President of the United States, and he’s also a man with a ‘deep affection for our country’. So those on the left whinging about Trump need to calm down, the paper says. After all, where were the howls of protest when Obama cracked down on immigration to the US form Iraq in 2011? ‘Isn’t it strange that the Left spits so much bile against the champions of freedom to which refugees long to flee, while raising barely a squeak of protest against the hellholes they want to flee from,’ the paper asks.


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